Published on May 14, 2018 by William Nunnelley  

Husband-and-wife piano team Ron and Barbara Shinn plan to continue the music after they retire from the School of the Arts this summer. Ron has been professor of piano and music theory since 2007 and Barbara has taught three-quarters time as director of class piano. They also direct the annual Piano & Chamber Music Institute, a summer program for talented high school students that will continue.

“I hope we can collaborate on and possibly record additional four-hand music for one or two pianos,” Ron said. They will continue teaching pre- and post-college students with studios at home, where they have four grand pianos.

“I have been fortunate to have a wonderful studio of piano majors here, many of whom have gone on to prestigious grad schools and all of whom have played beautiful undergraduate and graduate piano recitals,” he said. “Several won local and regional competitions.”

Ron has presented numerous solo and chamber music recitals and he and Barbara have presented regular duet/duo-piano recitals.

Ron said he would miss “talented and brilliant colleagues and wonderful students.” Barbara added that she also would miss working with undergraduate students. “Their enthusiasm is electric and invigorates me daily,” she said.

The Shinns cited the move toward digital capability as the most significant change in their field.

“The piano as an instrument has been around since about 1700,” said Ron. “Now, we are able to have master piano classes with famous faculty at Juilliard School of Music or elsewhere, with our local instrument through the internet playing their piano in New York City and vice-versa, with the master class teacher in the other city.”

The Shinns also look forward to retirement travel, including trips to Boston to visit their four-year old grandson and new granddaughter. Their son, Michael, is dean of music at Boston Conservatory and their daughter, Anne, a senior grants manager at Columbia University’s school of public health.






Samford is a leading Christian university offering undergraduate programs grounded in the liberal arts with an array of nationally recognized graduate and professional schools. Founded in 1841, Samford is the 87th-oldest institution of higher learning in the United States. Samford enrolls 5,791 students from 49 states, Puerto Rico and 16 countries in its 10 academic schools: arts, arts and sciences, business, divinity, education, health professions, law, nursing, pharmacy and public health. Samford fields 17 athletic teams that compete in the tradition-rich Southern Conference and ranks 6th nationally for its Graduation Success Rate among all NCAA Division I schools.